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Microsoft to Broadcast NHL Games

October 11, 2001

SEATTLE (AP) _ Microsoft Corp. will broadcast National Hockey League games through its Web site, part of a broader attempt to lure more users to its multimedia software.

The move is aimed at attracting users to Microsoft’s audio and video software, called Windows Media Player, and, later, to a set of paid subscription Internet services called .NET.

Financial terms of the deal, announced Wednesday, were not disclosed.

Microsoft Product Manager Lisa Gurry said the company could eventually begin offering such subscription services as sports score notification, but she would not elaborate on other plans or on how much those programs would cost.

She also wouldn’t say whether the company eventually plans to charge for listening to the games.

The NHL is hoping that, by broadcasting games through Microsoft’s MSN Web site, it will attract a broader range of fans.

``(We) want to provide news and information and also to kind of spread the gospel of hockey,″ said Keith Ritter, president of NHL ICE, the company’s Web presence. ``To do that, you’ve gotta go to somebody who draws an enormous amount of traffic.″

Microsoft’s chief audio and video player rival, RealNetworks, has struck deals to broadcast live basketball and baseball games on the Internet. Those offers include audio and video, but are only available through Real’s paid subscription service.

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